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Wade Glenn

From: Ohio

Miriam Logan, Reporter
Lebanon, Ohio

Warren County, District 21

Story of WADE GLENN from Winston-Salem North Carolina:
(doesn't know his age)

"Yes Madam, I were a slave--I'm old enough to have been born into
slavery, but I was only a baby slave, for I do not remember about
slavery, I've just heard them tell about it. My Mammy were Lydia Glenn,
and father were Caesar Glenn, for they belonged to old Glenn. I've heard
tell he were a mean man too. My birthday is October 30th--but what
year--I don't know. There were eight brothers and two sisters. We lived
on John Beck's farm--a big farm, and the first work for me to do was
picking up chips o' wood, and lookin' after hogs.

"In those days they'd all kinds of work by hand on the farm. No Madam,
no cotton to speak of, or tobacco then. Just farmin' corn, hogs, wheat
fruit,--like here. Yes Madam, that was all on John Beck's farm except
the flax and the big wooley sheep. Plenty of nice clean flax-cloth suits
we all had.

"Beck wasn't so good--but we had enough to eat, wear, and could have our
Saturday afternoon to go to town, and Sunday for church. We sho did have
church, large meetin'--camp meetin'--with lot of singin' an shoutin' and
it was fine! Nevah was no singer, but I was a good dancer in my day,
yes--yes Madam I were a good dancer. I went to dances and to church with
my folks. My father played a violin. He played well, so did my brother,
but I never did play or sing. Mammy sang a lot when she was spinning and
weaving. She sing an' that big wheel a turnin.'

"When I can read my title clear,
Up Yonder, Up Yonder, Up Yonder!

and another of her spinnin' songs was a humin:--

"The Promise of God Salvation free to give..."

"Besides helpin' on the farm, father was ferryman on the Yadkin River
for Beck. He had a boat for hire. Sometimes passengers would want to go
a mile, sometimes 30. Father died at thirty-five. He played the violin
fine. My brother played for dances, and he used to sing lots of songs:--

"Ol' Aunt Katy, fine ol' soul,
She's beatin' her batter,
In a brand new bowl...

--that was a fetchin' tune, but you see I can't even carry it. Maybe I
could think up the words of a lot of those ol' tunes but they ought to
pay well for them, for they make money out of them. I liked to go to
church and to dances both. For a big church to sing I like 'Nearer My
God to Thee'--there isn't anything so good for a big crowd to sing out

"Father died when he was thirty-five of typhoid. We all had to work
hard. I came up here in 1892--and I don't know why I should have, for
Winston-Salem was a big place. I've worked on farm and roads. My wife
died ten years ago. We adopted a girl in Tennennesee years ago, and she
takes a care of me now. She was always good to us--a good girl. Yes,

Wade Glenn proved to be not nearly so interesting as his appearance
promised. He is short; wears gold rimmed glasses; a Southern Colonel's
Mustache and Goatee--and capitals are need to describe the style! He had
his comical-serious little countenance topped off with a soft felt hat
worn at the most rakish angle. He can't carry a tune, and really is not
musical. His adopted daughter with whom he lives is rated the town's
best colored cook.

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